Since the inception of the Postal Service nearly 250 years ago, letter carriers have delivered to every community on every street in the United States, rarely being the targets of violence. In recent years, that has changed.
Since 2020, there have been more than 2,000 crimes committed against letter carriers on the job. Many of these attacks involve a gun or another weapon. Letter carrier robberies climbed to 643 last year, an increase of nearly 30%, and the number of robberies resulting in injuries doubled, according to the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS). Unfortunately, nearly every day there are other instances of letter carriers being assaulted, robbed, and even murdered while delivering mail and essentials.
The Protect Our Letter Carriers Act (POLCA) would address outdated collection boxes and arrow keys, which letter carriers are often targeted for in robberies. It would also ensure that the Department of Justice appropriately prosecutes crimes committed against letter carriers through designating an assistant in every US Attorney’s office to coordinate and supervise the investigation and prosecution of alleged offenses committed against letter carriers. And, the legislation would address sentencing guidelines so that any assault or robbery committed against a letter carrier has a more severe sentence recommendation. 

### **Secure postal infrastructure**
POLCA would provide $7 billion in funding for the Postal Service to secure its infrastructure, including the installation of high-security collection boxes as well as funding replacement of items carried by letter carriers with more secure electronic versions. The funding would be appropriated over five years, $1.4 billion annually in fiscal years 2025-2029.
A recent audit of USPIS data found that 52 percent of robberies of a letter carrier involved the theft of postal infrastructure items that have become highly sought after in recent years. Similarly, the Postal Service has reported an increase in high-volume mail theft incidents from mail receptacles, including blue collection boxes.
In response, the Postal Service has begun to reinforce its infrastructure, which includes items carried by letter carriers on the job. The bill would provide the necessary funding to implement this updated technology nationwide. When key infrastructure is devalued and more secure, letter carriers will be safer on their routes.
### **Increase prosecution rates**
Alarmingly, while crimes against letter carriers have persisted, arrests and prosecution against the alleged perpetrators have not. Though the number of assaults and robberies against letter carriers has doubled in recent years, the number of arrests and convictions for these crimes has markedly decreased, according to USPIS. Due to workload and other priorities, these cases often sit on prosecutor’s desks, and the alleged assailants are not held accountable. 
POLCA would require the Attorney General to appoint an assistant U.S. attorney in each judicial district to prioritize any case that involves an assault or crime against a letter carrier. Their principal responsibility in the district would be to coordinate and supervise the investigation and prosecution of these alleged crimes. 
### **Harsher sentencing for robbery and assault of a letter carrier**
Even though letter carriers who are victims of these crimes are federal employees in uniform on the job, under current law, the sentencing guidelines for those found guilty of these crimes are unevenly distributed. In 2024, a San Francisco defendant was found guilty of robbing a letter carrier at gunpoint and sentenced to only 30 days imprisonment, while in Mississippi a defendant was sentenced to eight years. This bill would strengthen sentencing guidelines for these crimes, ensuring that they are treated in the same manner as assaults on federal law enforcement officers.
NALC urges support of the Protect Our Letter Carriers Act, (H.R. 7629). To support the NALC’s fight, go to and send a letter to your legislators. n